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Offline Student

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Miqat in 7:142
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:45:36 PM »
Salaamun Alayka,
Sir Joseph,

What is Miqat in the ayah 7:142 - I'm having trouble grasping it, appointed 40 (30+10) nights and then 7:143 begins saying when Musa AS came to the appointed time (40 nights??).
Was he instructed to
  • worship in solitude for 40 nights before the meeting
  • or was he with God for 40 nights
  • or something else?
  Your explanation is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 09:23:15 PM »
Dear Student,

As salaam alaikum,

I hope that it is Okay with you if I part with some thoughts on your inquiry above before Br. Joseph possibly gives his response.

‘Miqat’ from root ‘Waw-Qaf-Ta’ meaning 'to determine/appoint/fix/assign a time, measure of time (e.g, season)' [1] can be ‘a place in which a certain action/meeting is appointed to be performed/take place at a particular time[1] / ‘that which determines the commencement, or the like, of a period [1].’  From the context of the verses, in 7:142, ‘miqat’ would refer to the ‘appointed/fixed duration/period of time’ (40 nights) while ‘miqat’ in 7:143 would be referring to the ‘appointed place/venue’ - possibly the ‘blessed spot’ (28:30) to the ‘RHS/western side - of the Mount’ (20:80, 28:44/46). 7:155 also mentions of another ‘miqatina’ (appointment/meeting) this time round with a company of 70 men who after such ill wishful commands (2:55) were tremor-stricken.

About 1, 2, or 3, I see (7:144-147) briefly capturing details of his sojourn at the appointed venue (miqat) with God for 40 nights.

Hopefully that slightly helps.


Regards,
Athmani.


REFERENCE:

[1]. LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 8, Page 212


Offline Student

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 01:46:01 AM »
Walekum salaam,
Br. Athman,

Thanks and Jazak Allah Khair for sharing the dictionary definition and pulling all the relevant verses together  :)

In my humble view this event is no ordinary, and these 30+10 nights has some bearing I reckon. This is in the biblical literature too, so I'm requesting Sir Joseph to share his view, time permitting inshallah.
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 02:48:10 PM »
Dear Student,

Salaam,

I agree that the 40-nights seclusion at the ‘miqat’ (appointed place) is truly ‘no ordinary’ sojourn and this owes to the epic moment of Prophet Musa (pbuh) being granted the Scrolls/Tablets (alwahi) containing instructions (maw’idhwat) and explanations (tafswila) of everything. Together with the direct conversation with God over some issues, this was a great honor indeed.

As regards the Biblical account, Exodus chapters 24:18 to 31:18 give a detailed summary of the sojourn for 40 days and 40 nights. Also see Exodus 34:10-27. In fact, Deuteronomy 5:7-21 point out on the 10 Commandments. The quotations below from the Bible seal the 40-period durations described in the citations given above, respectively.
 
So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” (Exodus, 34:28)

 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on Two Tablets of stone and gave them to me.” (Deuteronomy, 5:22)

Relating these citations to the Qur’anic account of verses 7:144-147 among other chapters, it can be followed that both references recognize the epic incident during which Prophet Musa (pbuh) was given the Ten Commandments as what constitutes the 40-nights period.

As to the ‘30+10’ division, to my little knowledge, I think there’s no clear explicit reference to its significance as far as the Qur’an is concerned. However, extrapolations are however a times made to its interpretation. A good example that I find interesting is where Prophet Musa (pbuh) is said to initially have been informed of a 30-day ‘miqat’ with God. It is alleged that he told his People about his 30-day seclusion though in real sense, God had intended for him a 40-day sojourn. After the 30-day period, his People became impatient of his return, God having withheld him. They thus made a calf - through Samarian’s influence - and worshipped it (during those 10 days). The 10-days delay was a test for the People by God to distinguish the true believers from the false ones (20:83-85) and thus it was established. Though this is not directly evident from the relevant Qur’anic narratives, I find it somehow cogent.

I understand that this inquiry is directed to Br. Joseph and I apologize for any possible inconvenience by intervening.


Regards,
Athman.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 09:37:31 PM »
Dear Student,

Wa alaikum assalam

I find it very heart-warming when brothers and sisters on this forum assist each other to provide their perspectives on questions and I would always want to encourage this. Therefore, my sincere gratitude to those kind souls (you all know who you are) that make that effort. May God bless you all.


With regards the question(s) you have posed, I am respectfully inclined to deduce the following summary of events:

1. Prophet Moses was appointed a total of 40 nights (layl) (2:51; 7:142). This was a covenant, a promise made (wa'ada) [2:51; 7:142].

2. The Quran splits the 40 nights into 2 parts of 30+10 (7:142). However, the significance of this is neither advanced nor clarified by the Quran and I humbly feel that it is important to take cue from verse 18:22 which provides wisdom to rely on matters which are clear (Illa miraan zahiran). However, I have mentioned the oath of the 10 nights taken separately in the Quran which popular thinking has linked to the month of Ramadan. To note, this is a thought which I do not necessarily subscribe to. Please kindly see link [1] below, where I have offered the possibility that the oath of these ten nights (89:2) could even be linked to the 10 nights of Prophet Moses in verse 7:142. Only God knows best.

3. The first appointed location may have been at a place quite close to Prophet Moses's community. There is no evidence from the Quran that this 'miqat' was at a place called 'Tur' [2] or at a distance. However, there is an inference from verse 7:143 that Prophet Moses was able to complete his appointed term and then converse with his brother Aaron soon after, which indicates proximity.

4. It is unclear how the 'days' were occupied as the Quran only refers to the appointment of 'nights' (laylatan). To insinuate / assert that the nights included the days would be an unwarranted assertion in my humble view. The Quran is familiar with narrative(s) which include both days and nights (69:7) and where general worship is to continue both in the night and daytime by using the general term 'ayyam' (days). “And remember God during certain number of days" [2:203]. Please also kindly see verses 22:8; 2:80 which appear to corroborate this. Therefore, were the days spent amongst his people, further in solitude or whether his close confidantes / family including his brother Aaron were able to visit him (e.g. to provide sustenance)? However to note, this view of provision would be against the Biblical perspective, which claims 40 nights and days were spent without access to food and water (Exodus 34:28). Only God knows best.

5. It is unclear what the nights (laylatan) consisted of precisely. However there is an indication in verses 7:142-145 that Prophet Moses may not have been given the tablets and the lessons drawn from them during these nights. This seems to have occurred at a second location that Prophet Moses proceeded to, after the forty nights were completed (7:145)

6. Prophet Moses appears to have left his people soon after the appointed nights were completed. This is indicated in verse 20:83 by the mention of 'haste' (ajala).

7. In his absence soon after leaving his people, Prophet Moses’s people were tried and transgressed with the golden calf (20:85; 20:88; 7:148).

8. Prophet Moses was informed of the transgression of his people once he had completed his 40 nights sojourn and after having left his people in haste. However, it is unclear how long he further stayed away from his people but he would have arguably stayed long enough for the tablets to have been revealed / given / granted (7:145) and the incident of the mountain crash to have occurred (7:143). It is quite possible that the distance from the community's location to the second meeting place with God took some time for Prophet Moses to travel, as the duration would have had to be long enough for his people to have transgressed and by building a calf for worship.

9. Nevertheless, Prophet Moses returned back to his people angry (ghadban) and grieved (asif) [7:150; 20:86] having been informed and on account of their transgressions during his absence.

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph



REFERENCES:

[1] Al-Fajr explained by Parwez - A poetic license ??
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=62.msg164#msg164
[2] MOUNT SINAI - BEHIND THE TRANSLATIONS
http://quransmessage.com/articles/tur%20FM3.htm


'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline ilker

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 10:57:04 PM »
Salamun alaykum all;

Great topic and great responses :) But honestly i just got a little bit confused about something. Brother Joseph, you said:

5. It is unclear what the nights (laylatan) consisted of precisely. However there is an indication in verses 7:142-145 that Prophet Moses may not have been given the tablets and the lessons drawn from them during these nights. This seems to have occurred at a second location that Prophet Moses proceeded to, after the forty nights were completed (7:145)

Actually, i thought the opposite. I would like to know especially what part of these ayat imply that Prophey Musa pbuh were given the tablets and lessons after the 40 nights but not during those nights. When i read this passage, i thought Prophet Musa pbuh was given the tablets during those nights because of 7:144,

"[ Allah ] said, "O Moses, I have chosen you over the people with My messages and My words [to you]. So take what I have given you and be among the grateful."

Probably i misunderstood what you've meant. Sorry if i got this wrong :)

Take care inshaAllah.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 11:24:27 PM »
Dear Ilker,

Wa alaikum assalam

Please kindly see the sequence of events (as highlighted in bold red italics in the translation offered below):


  • Prophet Moses was appointed 40 nights (7:142)
  • Prophet Moses then spoke with his brother and commandeered him to take his place amongst the people
  • Prophet Moses then proceeded to another appointed location (miqat) where God spoke to him (7:143)
  • Prophet Moses then received God's messages (7:144)
  • God then wrote / prescribed the tablets for Prophet Moses (7:145)
  • Prophet Moses then took the tablets back to his people (7:145)


007:142
"And We appointed for Moses thirty nights and completed them with ten, so the set term of forty nights [1] were completed, and Moses said to his brother Harun: "Take my place among my people [2] , and do right and do not follow the way of the corruptors"."

007:143
"And when Moses came at Our appointed place (miqat) and his Lord spoke to him [3] , he said: "My Lord! show me (Thyself), so that I may look upon You" He said: "Never can you see Me but look at the mountain, then if it remains in its place, then will you see Me" But when his Lord manifested / revealed His glory to the mountain, He made it crumble to dust and Moses fell down in a swoon / unconscious. And when he recovered, he said: Glory be to You, I turn to You (in repentance), and I am the first of the believers."

007:144
"He said: O Moses! Indeed, I have chosen you above the people with My messages and with My words, So take what I have given you and be of the grateful ones.[4]"

007:145
"And We wrote / prescribed (kataba) for him [5] in the tablets instructions of every kind and clear explanation of all things "so take them with firmness and enjoin / order your people [6] to take hold of what is the best of it. I will show you the abode of the transgressors."


I trust this clarifies from my humble perspective,

Kind regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Student

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 01:21:29 AM »
Salaamun Alaykum,
All,

Thanks and gratitude to brother Athman for giving your perspective and quoting the relevant biblical references. The extra 10 nights test making Bani Israel impatient sounds logical too, Wallahu Alam. Jazak Allah Khair indeed.

Sir Joseph,

Thank you so much for the clarification, God bless you. Now, it make sense to understand Miqat as a time of 40 nights of seclusion (7:142) and Miqat as a meeting place (7:143). That was my main confusion. The nights here means nights only and not days was a brilliant bonus point, Mashallah  :)

One last question on this event, I'm assuming all this happened after the drowning of Fir'oun and his armies.
Also, contrary to Biblical and Muslim popular thought of this Miqat as Mountain Tur/Sina, the verse 7:143 seems to be a place from where Musa AS can see the distant mountain pointed out by God.
Please correct me if I'm wrong on above two assumptions.
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 02:37:13 AM »
Dear Student,

Wa alaikum assalam

One last question on this event, I'm assuming all this happened after the drowning of Fir'oun and his armies.

Yes, that is my understanding.

Also, contrary to Biblical and Muslim popular thought of this Miqat as Mountain Tur/Sina, the verse 7:143 seems to be a place from where Musa AS can see the distant mountain pointed out by God.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on above two assumptions.

Yes, it seems to be a place from where Prophet Moses can see a particular distant mountain as pointed out by God.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline ilker

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 05:20:32 AM »
Dear Ilker,

Wa alaikum assalam

Please kindly see the sequence of events (as highlighted in bold red italics in the translation offered below):


  • Prophet Moses was appointed 40 nights (7:142)
  • Prophet Moses then spoke with his brother and commandeered him to take his place amongst the people
  • Prophet Moses then proceeded to another appointed location (miqat) where God spoke to him (7:143)
  • Prophet Moses then received God's messages (7:144)
  • God then wrote / prescribed the tablets for Prophet Moses (7:145)
  • Prophet Moses then took the tablets back to his people (7:145)


007:142
"And We appointed for Moses thirty nights and completed them with ten, so the set term of forty nights [1] were completed, and Moses said to his brother Harun: "Take my place among my people [2] , and do right and do not follow the way of the corruptors"."

007:143
"And when Moses came at Our appointed place (miqat) and his Lord spoke to him [3] , he said: "My Lord! show me (Thyself), so that I may look upon You" He said: "Never can you see Me but look at the mountain, then if it remains in its place, then will you see Me" But when his Lord manifested / revealed His glory to the mountain, He made it crumble to dust and Moses fell down in a swoon / unconscious. And when he recovered, he said: Glory be to You, I turn to You (in repentance), and I am the first of the believers."

007:144
"He said: O Moses! Indeed, I have chosen you above the people with My messages and with My words, So take what I have given you and be of the grateful ones.[4]"

007:145
"And We wrote / prescribed (kataba) for him [5] in the tablets instructions of every kind and clear explanation of all things "so take them with firmness and enjoin / order your people [6] to take hold of what is the best of it. I will show you the abode of the transgressors."


I trust this clarifies from my humble perspective,

Kind regards,
Joseph

Brother Joseph,

Alhamdulillah. Thank you for spending your time just to explain this step by step and in detail. May Allah (swt) reward you good, increase your faith and knowledge and keep you steadfast in His path.

Offline Student

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 01:31:43 AM »
Thank you so much, and Jazak Allah Khair dear Sir Joseph for taking time to address my queries. I'm ever grateful  :)
Rabbana Taqabbal dua to Br. Iker's dua too  :)
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 07:02:15 PM »
Dear Br. Joseph,

Thanks for your responses to the inquiries made above, elaborating on your perspective.

Respectfully, I can follow what you have shared as regards verse 7:142 indicating the ‘miqat’ to be different from that one in 7:143. However, I don’t find it an outright exclusive approach as I can see another possible interpretation. This is with a cue to stay cautious on matters not clear (18:22). Kindly see below how I understand the same 40-night sojourn as during which the law and the instructions were received. Any corrections are welcome insha Allah.

In my humble opinion, from a different angle, the 1st part of 7:143 points to the '30+10' split of the 40 nights though not detailing on it. It can be inferred from the verse that God ‘promised’ (wawa’adna) Prophet Musa (pbuh) a 30-night sojourn after which 10 extra ones were spent adding up to what God had actually ‘appointed’ (miqatu rabbihi). I see the 2nd part of it now elaborating on the preliminaries to the onset of a journey by Prophet Musa (pbuh) to that same ‘miqat.’ That is, handing in the role of leadership to his brother Prophet Haron (pbuh). Verse 7:143 captures the arrival of Prophet Musa (pbuh) at that ‘miqat’ and the rest is what happened till his return in 7:150/ 2:86. This is also resonated by the seeming immediacy of the ‘worshipping of the calf’ by the Israelites after him as in 2:51. Thus, this ‘miqat’ took place in the 40 nights.

And [recall] when We made an appointment with Moses for forty nights. Then you took [for worship] the calf after him, while you were wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:51)

In 7:154, he calms down and arranges (2:54) for another ‘miqat’ (7:155) where the incident in 2:55 happens.


I also am of the opinion that what were appointed were the 40 ‘nights’ (laylatan) and the ‘days’ (nahar) hence not ‘ayyam.’ How the 40 nights were each actually spent/occupied is not vivid. My use of 40-days (ayyam) as can be noted in my response above was just to capture what I cited as a proposition that is frequently made and what I partly agree with.

As can also be noted in the case of the Biblical account given above, though the Bible advance a 40-day and 40-nights sojourn, I only summarized an understanding that is mutual to both the Qur’an and Bible, retaining a 40-night rendition from the Qur’an.

“Relating these citations to the Qur’anic account of verses 7:144-147 among other chapters, it can be followed that both references recognize the epic incident during which Prophet Musa (pbuh) was given the Ten Commandments as what constitutes the 40-nights period.”


As regards Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) ‘haste’ in 20:83, I see this addressed as due to the fact that the People were closely following on him (his promises and lead) - 20:84. Having promised his People 30-nights sojourn at the ‘miqat,’ he rushed to God’s call for the appointment to please Him, wary of his closely following /monitoring People (Israelites). Being at the ‘miqat’ (20:84), he is told of the transgressions by his People (20:85) after he left.  This could possibly be due to a seeming delay on their part during the extra 10 nights Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) spent at his ‘miqat.’ Verse 20:86 captures “...was the time (of the Promised duration fulfilment) too long for you (afathwala).”

Fa akhlaftumma maw’idi’ - so you broke your promise to me (20:86) - indicates that they had earlier on pledged to wait patiently for Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) sojourn to lapse, though they felt impatient thereafter, implying a possibility of an additional waiting period (the 10 nights), though not the only option given their obstinate nature. They unanimously produced the calf (20:87-88) under the Samarian’s guile despite Prophet Haron (pbuh) warning them of such a trial (20:90). It is after the confrontation of the People by Prophet Musa (pbuh) upon his return back that new arrangements were made for another ‘miqat’ (7:144-145). Thus, with such a line of thought, I see a ‘possibility’ of the 40-nights sojourn being one during which were received the tablets, instructions and the lessons extracted from his conversation with God over various issues.


Regards,
Athman.

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 07:51:35 PM »
Dear All,

Correction on my comment above

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2018, 08:30:10 PM »
In 'the 1st part of 7:143,' I meant 7:142.

Also, "and the ‘days’ (nahar) hence not ‘ayyam' " was meant to be "not the ‘days’ (nahar) hence also not ‘ayyam'."


Regards,
Athman.

Offline Athman

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Re: Miqat in 7:142
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 10:25:39 AM »
Dear Br. Joseph,

As salaam alaikum,

With reference to the topic of the article [1] you shared, kindly see my humble view below.
 
From my perspective, the place where Prophet Musa (pbuh) perceived a fire, by the Mount side - ‘janibi thwuri’ (28:29) was a Holy valley referred to as ‘Thuwa’ (20:12). See also (79:16). It was from this place that Prophet Musa (pbuh) heard God’s voice from the RHS direction at the blessed spot (28:30). Some of the signs were initiated here. As to whether this is the same venue where the covenant in (20:80), the ‘miqat’ in (7:143) for the Law and another one in 7:155 (2:55) took place is something that could be of a separate discussion. This is with notice that the 1st one is described as ‘RHS’ of the mount - ‘janibi thwuri al-aymana’ (20:80), while the 2nd one as ‘western’ side - 'bijanibi al gharbiyya' (28:44) or ‘Mount’ side (janibi al-thwur) -28:46.

Thus the Qur’an identifies the position where Prophet Musa (pbuh) was summoned as being at the Holy valley of Thuwa (20:12). On the other hand, the Qur’an interchanges ‘thwur’ with ‘jabal’ in the verses captured below to implicate the synonymy of the two terms, especially as understood classically, as for instance as ‘a mountain, or any mountain that produces trees [2].

And when We raised the mountain (al-jabala) above them (fauqahum) as if it was a dark cloud and they were certain that it would fall upon them, [and Allah said], ‘Take what We have given you with determination and remember what is in it that you might fear Allah.’ ” (Qur’an, Al-A’raf 7:171)

And when We took your covenant, [O Children of Israel, to abide by the Torah] and We raised over you (fauqakumu) the mount (al-thwura), [saying], ‘Take what We have given you with determination and remember what is in it that you might fear Allah.’ ” (Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:63)

See also 2:93 and 4:154

Apart from the one connection of ‘thwur’ and ‘siniin’ in 95:2, another one occurs in 23:20 as captured below. A tree sprouting from Mount Sinai could possibly be linked to that olive (zaitun) one mentioned just before it in 95:2 or that one in 28:30 (mubarakat mina shajara). It could also possibly be that referred to in 24:35 (shajarati mubarakati zaituna).

And [We brought forth] a tree issuing from Mount Sinai (thwuri saina-a) which produces oil and food for those who eat.” (Qur’an, Al-Mu’minun 23:20)

Regards,
Athman.


REFERENCES:

[1]. MOUNT SINAI - BEHIND THE TRANSLATIONS

http://quransmessage.com/articles/tur%20FM3.htm

[2]. LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 5, Page 1890